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UK Covid tracker: the latest data by local authority as the roadmap out of lockdown begins

The New Statesman is tracking the latest Covid-19 data on cases, hospitalisations and vaccinations

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The New Statesman has launched this page to track case rates and other key Covid-19 data on a local authority level across Britain. It will be updated weekly every Thursday as new data becomes available.

As the pandemic has progressed our access to local-level Covid data has improved. But the information comes from multiple sources, with no single unified publisher of figures for key metrics such as case numbers, hospitalisations and test positivity rates. This makes it hard for the public to gain a full picture of the data and how it relates to them.

This page seeks to bring all this data together in an accessible format that will allow readers to form a more holistic view of the current level of Covid severity in their area. Where possible, data is shown for Wales and Scotland as well as England.

 

Our trackers allow you to keep an eye on changes in the key health data, and we hope this may give you crucial extra time to prepare for harsher measures if and when they do come.

Covid severity by local authority

When in place, England’s system of local lockdowns was determined based on six key metrics, together providing a useful picture of the severity of the virus in each part of the country:

  • Case rates among all age groups, and how this is changing
  • Case rates among those aged 60+
  • Hospitalisation levels, and how these are changing
  • Test positivity rates

We're continuing to monitor all these measures and you can explore these in the chart below:

 

 

Each of these metrics can tell us interesting things, but are flawed if you consider them in isolation. For instance, case rates are only robustly comparable across areas when you factor in how many tests have been conducted. Similarly, increases in case rates or hospitalisations may seem large, but if they occur from a low base the situation may not be as worrying as the trends suggest.

Considering all these measures together can give you a more complete picture of how severe an outbreak is in a given area. We’ve blended all these metrics together to form a “Severity Score” for each local authority.

Vaccinations by local area

The NHS in England publish the number of people that have been vaccinated in each neighborhood (called middle-layer super output areas). You can see how many people have been vaccinated where you live, and how it compares to the rest of your town and to England as a whole by entering your postcode below.

 

Case rate trends by local authority

The government has now instituted three nationwide lockdowns to curb the effects of the pandemic, but the spread of the virus has always shown variation in different parts of the country: areas in northern England experienced higher rates of transmission over the summer, with London’s second wave only gaining momentum in October.

Use the table below to get a longer-term view of the data and analyse recent trends in case rates across every local authority in England, Wales and Scotland.

 

 

Covid spread by local neighbourhood

In the UK, local lockdown measures have focused on whole local authorities or regions. But there continues to be significant variation in case rates between the neighbourhoods within those regions.

In Leeds last summer, for example, the villages of Boston Spa and Bramham never had case rates above 200 per 100,000 people, even when a local lockdown was in force and rates were exceeding 500 cases per 100,000 people in the city centre.

Our hyperlocal animated map below allows you to get a picture of how the epidemic has progressed in your neighbourhood. You can enter your postcode and click or tap the “play” button to see this animate over time.

 

 

A note on the data

The figures featured on this page are drawn from a variety of official sources. Data on case rates comes mainly from Public Health England, but where Scottish and Welsh figures are shown the sources are NHS Scotland and NHS Wales respectively. Positivity rates are taken from NHS Test and Trace’s weekly data report.

Hospitalisation figures are taken from NHS England and have been mapped from hospital trusts to local authorities using a method developed by Colin Angus, a statistician from the University of Sheffield.

This page will be updated every Thursday evening as new data is released and will display the latest available figures at the time of publishing.

Podcast: what's behind the latest Israel-Palestine conflict?

Jeremy Cliffe and Emily Tamkin host the New Statesman's weekly global affairs podcast, World Review.

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In a week that saw fresh violence erupt in Israel and Gaza, leaving dozens dead and hundreds injured, Jeremy Cliffe in Berlin and Emily Tamkin in Washington DC are joined by Ido Vock and Dimi Reider to explore what's behind the worst Israel-Palestine conflict in years.

Listen now

World Review publishes a new episode every Friday, and is available on all major podcast platforms. Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Acast and more. Or, if you’d rather, you can access the RSS feed directly here: https://rss.acast.com/world-review.

Read more

Dimi Reider: Why Netanyahu and Hamas both risk losing control of the conflict.

Anshel Pfeffer: the Palestinian cause is perilously close to becoming a lost one.

Are students falling out of love with Labour?

Labour maintained support in its student-heavy seats, but the Greens are on the rise. 

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The 2021 local elections were an disappointing set of results for Keir Starmer’s Labour party. Put simply, this election was witness to a now united right repeating its success of the 2019 general election.

But beyond this broad narrative, different lessons can be learned from drilling into the data on various groups. So what of the battleground for the student vote? 

People aged 18-24 in Britain do not have the best record for democratic participation at the ballot box. In 2019, according to Ipsos MORI, just under half turned out, which represented a fall of 7pts on 2017. Granular ward-by-ward results, however, can let us see whether their political minds are changing.

In areas where students over the age of 18 accounted for more than 20 per cent of the ward population, Labour’s vote, when compared to 2016 and 2017, stayed remarkably stable, with an average fall of 0.3 percentage points.

Labour held its own in student areas
Local election results by ward with [X]% of residents who are students. Changes with 2016/17

Looking at the table, it seems the relevance of the Liberal Democrats to students has yet to recover to its pre-coalition days. Compared to 2016/17, Liberal Democrat support is down 2pts in areas where students make up more than 20 per cent of residents. 

Such a finding is all the more stark considering the party lost only 0.1pts of its support in areas with next to no students.

The Greens, meanwhile, saw their vote rise by almost 4pts in the same wards, which is above average when put against the national picture.

Despite Green gains in vote share, of the 27 wards with a heavy student demographic that were up for election this year, 17 voted Labour (a fall compared to last time of just one), five voted Liberal Democrat (down two), four voted Green (an increase of three), and one (in Winchester) was gained by the Conservatives.

[See also: How blue has the Red Wall turned?]

One of the biggest falls for Labour in this sample came in Liverpool Central, where the party’s share of the vote fell by 13pts, and the Green vote rose by 7pts. That said, Labour still won with 57 per cent of the vote to the Green Party’s 24 per cent.

You could conclude from all this that Labour’s hegemony in student-dominated areas remains unchallenged. But we must also consider turnout data, which suggests enthusiasm for the party is lower compared to that seen for the Conservatives – particularly, as polls do say, among young voters. 

One clear takeaway from the election is that the Greens are on the rise, and the party’s biggest increases came in non-student wards. While they did strike through with some seat wins in student areas, what’s more remarkable is that they gained not just in the parts of Britain with the most graduates, but in all corners. They saw vote-shares rise in wards with a large proportion of highly-qualified residents, and also in those without.

Local election gains for the Greens came across the board
Share of residents with no qualifications vs. change in support for the Greens when compared to 2016/17.

The prior assumption – that the Green Party’s base of support comes from student voters dissatisfied with Labour – appears somewhat outdated, if not wholly inaccurate. It is more of a “Twitter narrative” than reality – and while Green seat wins may have largely come in the more qualified parts of the country, some of its biggest vote gains came in the corners of Britain with the smallest numbers of voters with qualifications.

[See also: Who will win the Chesham and Amersham by-election?]

 Ben Walker is a data journalist at the New Statesman

Edwin Poots is elected DUP leader in a repudiation of the party's MPs

DUP legislators have backed two unlikely bedfellows in a vote seen as a powergrab by the party's MLAs.

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Edwin Poots has been elected as the new leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, while Paula Bradley has been elected as deputy leader after a vote of the party’s parliamentarians. It means that the DUP’s legislators have elected as their leader a committed social conservative who believes that the Earth is just 6,000 years old and who rejects the theory of evolution, and as their deputy leader one of the party’s most liberal elected politicians, who has said she will be a “critical friend” to Poots’ leadership.

What’s happened? It’s partly because these elections are, yes, in part a repudiation of Arlene Foster’s relatively moderate leadership, including her recent decision to abstain on a motion to ban gay conversion therapy, rather than to vote against. But they are a reputation of the DUP at Westminster too, and their perceived responsibility for the outcome of the Brexit process, which has seen the creation of a deep regulatory border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, and one that is likely to grow. “Blunders have consequences,” is how one DUP politician put it to me.

And it is also an assertion of the rights of members of the legislative assembly over members of Parliament, and a desire to change to survive: albeit in a way that puts the leader and deputy leader sharply and visibly at odds on a number of social issues.

[See also: Why does Boris Johnson keep making impossible promises on Northern Ireland?]

What is less clear is whether this new team – which is likely to be represented by Paul Givan, a longtime ally of the new leader, as Poots has vowed not to fill the role of First Minister himself – has any more chance of navigating the challenges the DUP faces. That means avoiding the loss of its traditional votes to the TUV and of moderate votes to the Alliance and the UUP (itself due to receive new leadership in short order). It is also unclear whether they can keep power sharing on the road as the protocol and broader unionist discontent at the economic and political settlement in Northern Ireland continues to fester.

While the old leadership bears some of the responsibility for the problems of the past, not all of them can fairly be laid at the door of Foster, and many of them cannot simply be wished away by a new leader.

[See also: The DUP’s crisis won’t end with Arlene Foster’s leadership]

Stephen Bush is political editor of the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics. He also co-hosts the New Statesman podcast.

Israel-Palestine: death toll continues to rise

The US adminsitration has dispatched an envoy to the embattled region, but the future for civilians remains unclear.

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As I write on Friday morning in Washington, DC, 119 people, including 31 children, have been killed by Israeli strikes inside the Gaza Strip, according to Gaza health authorities. Rockets from Hamas have killed seven civilians and one soldier in Israel. The Israeli strikes on Gaza in response to rockets from Hamas are ongoing.

The first rockets fired towards Jerusalem by Hamas on Monday came after days of violence in the city itself. In the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah there is, as my colleague Ido Vock puts it, a “long-running legal battle”. Jewish settlers say that Palestinians are living there illegally, in homes that belonged to Jews who left after 1948. The Palestinians, in turn, say that firstly, these are their homes and have been for decades, and secondly, that it is discriminatory that there is no Arab equivalent for a law that allows Jews to reclaim property lost in 1948. A court ruling meant to settle the matter on Monday was delayed as a result of linked unrest.

[Hear more on the World Review podcast]

There have been rockets and airstrikes before. But there is also, as my colleague Dimi Reider notes, another somewhat unprecedented element to the latest exchange. Jews and Palestinians throughout Israel are physically turning against one another. A Jewish man shot and killed a Palestinian man in Lod; Palestinian businesses were attacked in Bat Yam; Jewish-owned businesses were set aflame in Akko. As Reider says, “The scale, intimacy and decentralisation of the violence this risks engendering is nothing like anything we’ve seen in Israel-Palestine in living memory.”

“The internal rift threatens us,” Defence Minister Benny Gantz said on Wednesday. “It is no less dangerous than Hamas’s missiles. We must not win the battle in Gaza and lose the battle for home.” But what would it even mean to win “the battle for home”?

The political backdrop to all of this is chaos. In March the fourth parliamentary election in two years left various politicians struggling to form a government. Yair Lapid, the centrist politician helming the opposition, tried to make the case on Tuesday that the civil and military violence showed it was time for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to go. The leader of the right-wing Yamina Party, Naftali Bennett, meanwhile, said that talks for a “change government”, composed of an unlikely opposition coalition (including right-wing Zionists and a Palestinian Islamic party), were off. He now prefers a unity government, he said, and so would return to talks with Likud and Netanyahu.

Netanyahu, who is standing trial on criminal charges including fraud, may yet pull through this political moment. The future for millions of civilians is less clear.

Whether or how the world can help Israel-Palestine out of this is unclear, too. An Egyptian delegation went to Tel Aviv for ceasefire talks, though a ceasefire has yet to arrive. The US does not enter direct talks with Hamas, but does, in theory, have leverage with Israel, to whom it provides billions of dollars in military aid every year. 

On Wednesday the Biden administration dispatched an envoy. The administration’s line has been traditional: Israel has a right to defend itself, though it has an “extra burden” to try to avoid civilian deaths. But the left flank of the Democratic Party has been more vocal in its condemnation of Israel’s behaviour and killing of civilians. 

Speaking on the House floor on Thursday, Rashida Tlaib, who is Palestinian-American and a member of the “squad” of progressive representatives, asked: “How many Palestinians have to die for their lives to matter?” 

[See also: Why Netanyahu and Hamas both risk losing control of the conflict]

Emily Tamkin is the New Statesman’s US editor. 

She co-hosts our weekly global affairs podcast, World Review

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